Forest of Past Voices

Player Rating4.30/8

"#398 overall, #31 for 2017"
based on 51 ratings since 08/21/2017
played 359 times (finished 27)

Story Difficulty3/8

"trek through the forest"

Play Length3/8

"A nice jog down the driveway"

Maturity Level7/8

"anything goes"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 18. If this were a movie, it would probably be R.


Elliot hears news that his aunt is dying. He has to trek through a forest haunted by his own memories in order to see her before she passes. There are two paths through the forest and two true endings. They are both clearly marked as 'epilogue.' The maturity level is probably a bit of an exaggeration but there's some material that is definitely mature in one of the paths.

Player Comments

This was an adequate story with proficient but slightly awkward prose and decent, but not impressive length.

I have two major complaints about this story:

First and foremost, there was too much telling and not enough showing. A character with a backstory as painful as Elliot's should be given room to show how broken they are through their interactions with other characters, and Elliot is given next to no time to do that. In fact, despite the awful experiences he's suffered through, he mostly still acts and presents as a child. We are told a great deal about how horrible and scarred he is, but we never actually SEE it.

While there are a below average number of grammatical errors present here, the story needs a quick revision for sentence awkwardness. There are a number of statements that stand out as slightly awkward, including most of the cases where the author refers to Elliot as "the man", despite having already introduced us to him.

Overall, this is definitely not bad, and the author definitely has the potential to write a good story.
-- JJJ-thebanisher on 1/28/2017 8:48:46 PM with a score of 0
That was quite the story; it certainly held up to the promise of memories!

When you have the choice to walk into the fire, I think you should've made Elliot rationalize it first. He went in because of wanting to, I suppose, be "forgiven". However, I'm pretty sure he would've felt the fear of going into the fire. What intelligent creature goes into a fire willingly?

While you gave Elliot's back story, the way he acted throughout doesn't match the back story. You never really go in-depth with Elliot - the case with Jessie was good - but I don't really know much of the man's past. (Speaking of which, you kept referring to him as "the man". No kidding, he's the man.)

I think part of that is that you don't have enough memories/back story! These two events don't really show enough of Elliot to make me feel for him. His actions didn't seem very important, and the way you wrote him seemed simple. It was a boring read, craft-wise.

His Uncle is another character I did not care for. What bad things could he have done in the past? And the Aunt; what good things have she done? I didn't feel sadness for the characters when I got to the grief/sad epilogue.

There really was no conflict either. I mean, you simply had to go to the aunt's house. Nothing actually happened to stop you. Just memories. xD Though I love the symbolism and making peace with dead people. :)

Also, time and place descriptions should be more clear. To me, it seemed that Elliot managed to travel through the forest in one or two days and reach his aunt when he said it should take three days. I didn't know the mood/atmosphere of the forest because it lacked description, so I couldn't imagine it.

I think this storygame could use more description, characterization, conflict, and actual story to it. :) I like the idea of it (Though is it really appropriate for the contest theme?)
-- Crescentstar on 1/28/2017 12:04:22 AM with a score of 0
This story might be the epitome of the saying "could be better, could be worse". Nothing really stuck out in a positive way, but there wasn't a lot that stuck out negatively either. An argument can be made that a forgettable story is worse than a bad one though. This story really does fall into a unique position.
-- tmanaking on 11/18/2020 10:32:53 PM with a score of 0
This story made me laugh quite a bit, I'll admit. Serious portions were mixed with humor, making just the right amount of fun and action. Grammatical and spelling mistakes were at a minimum, which is always good. There was adequate detail about the surroundings and the forest.

However, readers do not know or learn much about the protagonist, Elliot. He has the mindset of a young child, one who is easily bored/ restless. As the story progresses, no answers about the main character is revealed. His personality is vague at best.
Pacing wasn't very consistent at the end, when you automatically skipped ten years without bothering explaining what happened in that time period.
Because of the humorous and light way the story was told (though I felt you didn't quite give readers an outline of the protagonist) I rate this a 6/8.
-- Snowflame on 1/28/2017 9:35:47 PM with a score of 0
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